Q: It is reported that China and Iran have reached agreement on the first commercial contract for the renovation of the Arak heavy water reactor which will be finalized in Vienna on April 23. Can you confirm it?
A: Your information is correct. Chinese and Iranian companies initialed their first commercial contract on the renovation of the Arak heavy-water reactor in Beijing the other day, thanks to the efforts made by the two sides, which will be signed formally in Vienna on April 23.
As you may already know, the renovation of the Arak heavy-water reactor is the core of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear issue. The working group, established by the P5+1 on the Iranian nuclear issue and co-chaired by China and the US, is in charge of cooperating with Iran to implement renovation projects. Since the JCPOA went into force, renovation projects have been put on a right track of steady development, thanks to the relentless efforts of all parties. The signing of the agreement will create favorable conditions for the start-up of renovation work in real sense. China will continue working with relevant parties for follow-up matters in accordance with the JCPOA and the consensus reached by all.
I also want to say that China always firmly supports the JCPOA. With the 7th meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA to be held in Vienna on April 25 by the P5+1 and Iran, the successful signing of the agreement between China and Iran will create positive impetus for the meeting. We hope that all parties can be steadfast in their political resolves, properly deal with disputes, jointly safeguard and implement the JCPOA, and contribute to preserving the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East.